Search our site
Search our site

Product & Furniture Design BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time W260 2019

Why choose this course?

This practical, workshop-based course allows you to experiment and design everything from commercial furniture and housewares to ceramics and technology products. You'll graduate with a portfolio of 2D and 3D work to launch your career and show to potential employers.

We were ranked at number two in the UK (out of 74) for design and crafts in the Guardian University League Tables 2019. Out of the top eight universities we are the only one offering a BA in product and furniture design. Our strong links with industry mean students can test their ideas at leading companies. In the past these have included John Lewis, Herman Miller and New Balance. You can also attend guest lectures from industry leaders.

You'll have the opportunity to attend field trips as part of the course. Previous trips have included visits to Milan, Munich, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Valencia. To see current projects and activities please visit our Instagram account Product_Furniture_Kingston.

Find out about a recent project that our students have worked on with John Lewis:

What you will study

This course focuses on practical experimentation informed by the use of materials, technologies and production processes. You'll learn about the qualities of materials, their potential sustainability and appropriate application. You'll study the roles that designers play, and the impact design can have on social, political, environmental and commercial contexts.

Year 1 introduces you to the design process. You will develop essential studio, software, workshop and computer-aided design (CAD) skills needed for your projects. You'll explore areas such as user-based design, manufacturing, structure, communication, ergonomics (people's efficiency in their working environment) model making and the design process.

Year 2 concentrates on the development and communication of design concepts. You'll study design themes such as sustainability and ‘intelligent making' and explore personal approaches to contemporary design issues. You'll develop your teamwork skills and learn about branding and self-promotion of your work. You will be introduced to professional practice and be challenged by live industry projects with companies and industry partners.

In Year 3, you'll develop a selection of critical project work informed by your career aspirations. You'll be encouraged to collaborate and engage with industry whilst applying your design philosophy and personal manifesto to your major projects. The course encourages you to enter international design competitions and finishes with a major exhibition and the development of a professional portfolio.

Is this course right for me?

The Product & Furniture Design BA(Hons) course provides an intensive three-dimensional design education which emphasis conceptual creative thought as well as the practical knowledge and understanding of materials and manufacturing techniques.

Central to your experience is the development of an appreciation of 'intelligent making'. The course values the practical knowledge and understanding gathered from direct experience and use of materials and technologies in context. You are expected to develop sensitivity toward both your physical and perceived qualities as well as your potential creative, sustainable and appropriate application.

The course seeks students who are passionate about designing, thinking and making who wish to develop and realise design concepts that reflect the real needs and aspirations of contemporary society.

Module listing

The Product & Furniture Design course focuses on practical experimentation informed by the use of materials, technologies and production processes. You'll learn about the qualities of materials, their potential sustainability and appropriate application. You'll study the roles that designers play, and the impact design can have on social, political, environmental and commercial contexts.


Year 1

  • This module introduces the student to the fundamental 2D and 3D design skills and tools necessary to successfully develop, communicate and represent ideas and concepts to themselves, their peers and the outside world in a variety of media. The application of free hand drawing and rendering techniques are explored in relation to points within the process of product and furniture design and development. Additionally simple 3D model making methods and presentation techniques are introduced to enhance the students ability to communicate ideas effectively. The subjective nature of design is investigated through form development exercises in which the outcomes are reflected on in relation to visual language and perception.

    Read full module description

  • This module introduces you to the process of design and the importance of observation, idea generation, concept development and communication skills. The design process is established as a strategy for the successful development, evaluation and refinement of design ideas.

    Importantly you will begin this "process" with a user-centred design philosophy, putting the person at the centre of the process, understanding their needs and desires. You will gain an initial understanding of product and furniture design practices and the role of the design as it relates to empathies such as human factors, ergonomics and manufacturing including where appropriate the role of contemporary issues such as sustainable design practice etc.

    Fundamentally, this module takes advantage of user-focused design techniques to create inspired and relevant design solutions. Context is introduced, materials and form giving are explored, all supported by the introduction of creative tools like brainstorming and design workshops where appropriate.

    Read full module description

  • The aim of this module is to introduce students to the fundamental principles and components of workshop and studio practice as they relate to the concept of 'designing through making' and the creative application of technology.

    Through a range of projects, workshops, experiments and exercises the module explores the relationship between materials, techniques, processes, technologies and meaning.

    The module develops the key areas of 2D and 3D analogue and digital communication including model-making, workshop techniques, visual language and communication, graphic layout and composition, materials and manufacturing technologies. The emphasis in this module is on developing a creative understanding of the core competencies that underpin product and furniture design practice.

    Read full module description

  • This module presents thematic approaches to the study of product and furniture design as an historical subject. Through image-based lectures, discussions and study visits, students will be introduced to the historical development of product and furniture design from the 1750s to the present day. Students will consider the evolution of the design practices and professions, and the role of changing design and production technologies and techniques. Each session is intended to address particular ideas and practices that have shaped and constructed our contemporary understanding of product and furniture design as a meaningful social, cultural and economic activity. The module engages with critical texts to allow students to examine the relationship between theory and practice in product and furniture design, and to develop an understanding of the emergence of product and furniture design as a cultural response to modernity. Key themes will be explored, including: the evolution of design practices and professions, the relationship between politics, labour, craft and technology, taste and display, consumption and design, consumer advocacy and sustainability, alternative approaches to design practice, and the impact of digital technologies. An integral part of this module is the close consideration of designed objects and images, and the understanding of these in relation to larger contexts of meaning and interpretation.

    Read full module description


Year 2

  • The aim of this module is to develop understanding of the potential roles and responsibilities of the designer and enable students to contextualise their personal design vision and ambition. The emphasis in this module is on developing design sympathies and an awareness of a project's stakeholders and how to work creatively and effectively within established project parameters.

    The module encourages understanding of how to develop work in a dynamic and appropriate manner, equipping students with the ability to express opinions and adopt different perspectives in relation to a range of issues and contexts (social, commercial, cultural, environmental and political).

    Students are expected to further develop their knowledge and ability in developing design solutions and communicating these physically, digitally, verbally and visually. The module aims include the design of a contextual portfolio in preparation for Level 6.

    Read full module description

  • The module aims to introduce students to the concept of intelligent making as it relates to the creative and appropriate use and application of materials, technologies and manufacturing processes.  Emphasis is placed upon direct experimentation and investigation of materials, technologies and processes and the development of conceptual yet practical design outcomes informed through an understanding and awareness of the affecting factors of batch production.  The module also seeks to introduce the concept of prototyping as an industry standard method for presenting fully resolved objects and artefacts in context prior to industrial or batch manufacture.

    Read full module description

  • The module seeks to provide an environment for the discussion, debate and engagement with potential future design and manufacturing issues.

    The module encourages the concept of 'future-gazing' and the adoption of a 'science-fact' philosophy to underpin a rigorous and robust conceptual design process that seeks to indentify 'real' future design needs and design opportunities. The module also encourages 'live' client projects and industry collaborations as a means of contextualising and framing the learning outcomes.

    You are asked to consider the impact of technology on specific areas of society, the environment or industry and engage in the development and dissemination of strategic design outcomes which either encourage further debate or propose sustainable design solutions in relation to defined future scenarios.

    Read full module description

  • This module builds on the historical and thematic content introduced at Level 4 and emphasises the theorisation of contemporary furniture and product design practice. A series of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, screenings and visits informs and support your own emerging research interests and the development of independent visual and academic research skills that cross history/theory and design practice. Lectures and seminars will deepen critical and theoretical engagement with contemporary issues in furniture and product design. Seminar tasks and assessments are carefully designed to foreground projects that support the location of furniture and product design as a discipline. Research methodologies are introduced though case studies and practical activities that reflect the issues explored through the module's contemporary content.

    Read full module description


Optional year

Year 3

  • The aim of this module is to enable you to demonstrate your ability to engage in the design and serial manufacture of objects and artefacts. The production project is an opportunity for you to develop concepts and strategies for innovation and creativity not only in terms of design but also in relation to the methods and techniques of manufacture.

    The module promotes a holistic understanding of the process of research, design and manufacture and encourages an iterative 3D material orientated process of design and development. Production project design solutions require an insight-led approach to conceptualisation and design specification to ensure the requisite design empathy and appropriateness.

    You are encouraged to contextualise your individual practice, with the opportunity to embark on industrial collaborations where appropriate. The production project submission encourages completed works in production as well as editions and series.

    Read full module description

  • This 'capstone' module allows you to demonstrate your personal design philosophy through both the execution and choice of their major project. Capstone is an application of skills and knowledge, and a reflection on your learning through the course evidenced via the major project. Prior to commencement, you are required to submit a project proposal to be scrutinised and sanctioned by tutors and peer group.

    You will consolidate the professional skills you have gained and demonstrate your strategic application through their research, design and development process. The ability to engage in critical debate and present work professionally, both visually and orally, is fundamental.

    This module expects you to deliver professional and creative design solutions with a clear narrative. Consultation with academic and industry experts combined with intellectual contextual and sociological drivers should inform their work. This module is a bridge to your future study, work life or career.

    Read full module description

  • The aim of this module is to enable you to develop a means of promoting your employability through the presentation of an integrated body of work that represents both the concrete outcomes of your creative work and highlights your transferable skills, ie those personal and professional skills and qualities that may not be directly evident in a body of creative work.

    The module draws together and develops a number of elements of your work produced during your three years at Kingston in order to be able to present a complete picture of your range of abilities, personal design interests and ambitions. It is essential that the outcome of the module captures a sense of the your personality and identity and therefore engenders a sense of self within the folio.

    This module requires you to develop a coherent and fluent portfolio, which demonstrates strategic skills, knowledge and creativity relevant and appropriate to their graduate ambitions. You are encouraged to give careful consideration to the appropriateness of the methods and techniques used to creatively communicate all these aspects of their work to an external audience such as potential employers etc. 

    Read full module description

  • Building on the links between research and practice embedded at Level 5, the Critical and Historical Studies (CHS) Dissertation: Research and Reflection module focuses on in-depth research, critical enquiry and reflection on questions and critical issues emerging in students' own practice, and pertinent to the practice of their own discipline.

    Over the module, students will initiate and develop an individual research topic; identify and evaluate appropriate archives, bodies of critical literature, visual/material sources and research methods; manage their study time; engage with and respond to tutorial dialogue and peer feedback, and apply critical and analytical skills to produce a 6,000 word written Dissertation, supported by a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

    Following the submission of the Dissertation, and to support the realisation of studio capstone projects, students will be assisted with the conception and development of an individual Statement that enables self-reflection and locates students within the contemporary contexts of their discipline. Consolidating the research, reflexive and critical skills acquired throughout students' programme of study, the Statement engages and applies learning undertaken within CHS modules to studio practice, supporting students' self-presentation at Degree Show, in future post-graduate study, and/or professional practice in a variety of Art and Design contexts.

    Read full module description


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps
Favourite this course

Did you find what you are looking for?

This field is required.


Thank you for your feedback.

Find a course

Course finder


Kingston University design graduate embarks on mission to halt decline of the humble hedgehog

Kingston University design graduate embarks on mission to halt decline of the humble hedgehog.

A keen conservationist and up-coming-designer has turned her talents to devising a shelter for hedgehogs.

Find us on Facebook

Undergraduate study
Site menu